For example, archaeological studies suggests that early societies with more religious faith fare better than those with less as faith and ritualistic practices, increases social coherency and organization, as well as deterring socially-destructive self-interest behavior. Some of the earliest large scale civilizations, such as Sumer and Egypt, are practically theocracies with powerful priesthoods or self-proclaimed god-kings at their heads.
In the Western world, religions' fanatical persecution of 'magic-users', such as suspected 'witches' and cultists, in medieval times is noted to be critical in fostering an environment where science and the scientific method can (and eventually did) develop, by forcing people to accept the reality that the external world, and the inscrutable, invariable laws that govern it is separate from the internal world of individual desires.
Also, Christian monestaries and Muslim scholars had been credited in preserving knowledge and literature from the Classical and Roman Eras during the collapse of the Roman Empire during the Dark Ages, and in many cases advances continues to occur, such as in areas of mathematics and medicine by Muslim scholars during the Islamic Golden Age.
The fact that religious people are free to view it is certainly true, and I do not doubt that many religious people do not like the premise. This certainly does not mean however that religious people are the target audience.
Atheism has no doctrine, no scripture, no organised belief, no accepted beliefs of any kind (a lack of belief is not in itself a belief). It does not have a a code of conduct, nor laws, nor any binding rules of any kind. As such anything you associate with atheism is your OWN impressions, and possibly the mistaken impressions of the atheist in question.
Just out of curiosity, why is atheism not the worlds greatest "creation".
Further, while all religions preach tolerance, very few actually practice it. And of those that do, they get diluted and destroyed within just a couple of generations. A religion that actually practices tolerance simply does not survive very long.
There are of course a few exceptions, Jainism being one, Buddhism occasionally being another, but even in these "tolerant" religions, you have problems. Jainism flourishes through teaching falsehoods as facts, they actively attempt to divert research from things that may prove them wrong and counterfeit results trying to prove their teachings correct. They do this so well that people have managed to starve themselves to death thinking that they can survive on nothing but sunlight.
Buddhism has even worse a history for "tolerance", so much so that the Stuka dive bombers of world war two were Shinto Buddhists, the Dahlia Lama lama is part of a long standing regime that oppressed the peasants and poor people of his country, making a caste based society with a very privileged few and many many people living in poverty and squalor. A "servant" class.
As for Christians, from which the good Samaritan story actually came from, I need only remind you of the Inquisition to make you aware of just how bad their history of "tolerance" really is.
And FYI you can't use things that happened centuries ago as evidence of why religion today is bad.
Islam was once at the forefront of science and yet today a study done by Pakistani physicist Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy laid out the grim statistics in a 2007 Physics Today article: Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one. In these nations, there are approximately 1,800 universities, but only 312 of those universities have scholars who have published journal articles. Of the fifty most-published of these universities, twenty-six are in Turkey, nine are in Iran, three each are in Malaysia and Egypt, Pakistan has two, and Uganda, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Azerbaijan each have one.
There are roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, but only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science (one for physics in 1979, the other for chemistry in 1999). Forty-six Muslim countries combined contribute just 1 percent of the world’s scientific literature; Spain and India each contribute more of the world’s scientific literature than those countries taken together. In fact, although Spain is hardly an intellectual superpower, it translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand years. “Though there are talented scientists of Muslim origin working productively in the West,” Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg has observed, “for forty years I have not seen a single paper by a physicist or astronomer working in a Muslim country that was worth reading.”Not to mention the more recent things religion has done, such as its continued and unrelenting attack on the rights of people who do not believe as they do. Today there are still thousands of court cases about religious people discriminating against gays and lesbians, and atheists simply because they do not share the same religious beliefs. There are continuous cases in court at the moment where religious people are trying to keep the law set up so that gay couples cannot get married. There are countless examples of religious schools and organisations teaching fundamentally false things as fact and calling into question the very basics of science.
Religion may help individuals on a large scale, meaning that you can quote figures in the thousands of people it helps, but it creates the conditions in which those people were caused harm in the first place. It may help thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, but it has, and continues to, cause harm to millions upon millions.
DO YOUR DAMN RESEARCH! Galileo was arrested for teaching his ideas after the scientific community ordered him to stop. The Pope was an ardent supporter of his ideas, and even sent two Jesuit astronomers to try and hep him get enough data to prove his theory. However, he antagonized both of them to no ends, and insulted the Pope in a book he wrote. And even with the begrudging help of the two Jesuits, he still couldn't find enough data. And I've been taught enough in Science class to be aware that, it doesn't matter how clearly true what you say is (and this was not clear in the slightest) unless you have the proof to back it up. Which Galileo lacked.
That is because do to constant foreign intervention and meddling over the course of the past century has allowed for despotic reigns which encourage the populace to remain ignorant.
You consider God to be against the very basics of science. And gays don't have the right to get married.
Theire is infinitely more good done by religion than harm.
ALL forms of the inquisition destroyed many ideas that they did not believe were in accord with the catholic churches views and cannon law. They suppressed new ideas and destroyed scientific work that they did not believe was compatible with their own view of God.
As for Galileo's trial, he was banned from teaching heliocentric theory precisely because the inquisition declared it to be heretical in 1616. It was declared heretical because it directly challenged the ideas of Ptolomy who instead believed in a geocentric model. Geocentricism is in accord with literal interpretations of the scriptures, and as such had a great deal of support from the church.
He was tried at the Inquisition headquarters in Rome. He was forced to renounce his ideas under threat of torture and burning at the stake. He was long time friends of the person who was Pope at the time of his inquisitorial trial. In fact Pope Urban was so angry with him that it was said that merely mentioning Galileo's name could send him into a fury. In the end he renounced his ideas and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.
He based his ideas on direct observation which could be obtained by anyone with a telescope, and it doesn't matter if your ideas are true or not, when they are based on clear evidence the scientific method demands that you give them as good a chance as you would any other theory.
So how about you stop telling me stories that they taught you in church and DO YOUR OWN DAMN RESEARCH so that you can see whether what they told you is true or not.
I do not believe God to be against science, although nearly all beliefs about God are logically inconsistent. And Heterosexual couples do not have the right to get married either. What exactly has that got to do with anything?
Your belief that religion does more good than harm does not appear to have any basis in reality, and your reliance on what people have told you without any form of evidence seems to be a serious problem.
They didn't teach me that in school. They taught me the same load you just said. It was by my own research that I discovered this.
You were yammering on about how my religion violates people's rights.
Better I listen to them than I listen to you, who would like nothing better than to see everyone abandon the True Faith.
Yes I was talking about religion infringing on the rights and lives of other people and you said that gay people do not have the "right" to marriage, to which I said that neither do straight couples. My point is that while they may not have the right to marriage, they DO have the right to be treated equally to everybody else by the law of the land. Saying that they cannot marry, while straight couples can is infringing on their right to equal treatment, and is ethically and morally reprehensible.
As an aside, how do you know that your faith is the true faith? Do you know that the single greatest indicator of someone's religion is their geographical location of birth? Isn't it interesting that your faith doesn't seem to be based on any truth that others do not know, but instead on what you were taught as a youngster?
Oh wait... I guess you didn't know how she died, having been buried (And reduced, as she so charmingly put it, to worm chow) with the son who joined her in embezzling from the FFRF.
Too bad she didn't have any kind of moral compass.
The best part of the story?
Her disowned son is a born-again Christian and is alive, well and happy.
As for her disowned son, he most certainly is NOT a Christian, he does believe in a god yes, but he keeps his own personal faith very quite and refuses to affiliate himself with any form of organised religion.
If you insist on every person of influence being a moral giant, then I am afraid you are going to be very short of anybody to look up to.
Almost none of the major wars EVER were about religion. Nearly all of them were about side A wanting something side B had and killing them for it.
Alexander conquered Persia because Persia attacked Greece to gain land. Qin conquered China because he wanted to be in charge. Hitler was able to get Germany behind him because they were mad about the restrictions placed upon them when they lost the first world war which only happened because everybody and their grandma was in an alliance and had to fight because of it. And let's not forget Vietnam and Korea which were about people disagreeing over how the economy should be run. Am I forgetting any?
Oh, the war on terror you say? Consider this. Would those people still be fighting if they didn't follow a religion that only endorses violence as a last resort?
Also you could have picked some better examples, many of Alexander the greats followers believed he was the son of Zeus. He was under Aristotle's tutelage from a very young age, and Aristotle impressed upon his young pupil the notion that all non-Greeks are barbarians and their enemies and that it is "the moral right of all Greeks to wage war upon them, enslave them, or exterminate them" (Cummings 59). In other words it was the belief that he was ALLOWED to destroy everyone else that lead to him taking over the known world.
Hitler? Really? Are you going to argue against the role that religion played in creating all the horror of the second world war? Honestly? I take it that his annihilation of the Jews was purely political? Are you sane? This quote does not say that religion is the SOLE cause of misery, but it is certainly one largest causes of misery throughout history.
And finally the war on terror I say? Actually no, I wouldn't bother to bring it up, but now that you've mentioned it. Consider you final statement, "Would those people still be fighting if they didn't follow a religion that only endorses violence as a last resort?" Do you actually think this helps your cause in any way? At all? Try reading it again. Also they do not follow a religion that endorses violence "only" as a last resort, actually violence is pretty common throughout Sharia law. Try actually reading the Koran before you make statements about something you obviously know nothing about. Hell on that point it might be a good idea for you to actually read the bible, I would suggest starting with genesis. You might actually learn something.
Not to mention the Nazi uniforms came with a belt buckle with the words "GOTT MIT UNS" (GOD WITH US) on their front.
And that two thirds of the Nazi soldiers were active Roman Catholics.
Hitler may not have been a Christian, but his followers were.
I operate on the view that ANY 'reason(s)' for WAR upon OTHER HUMANS ''other than TRUE SELF DEFENSE'' is HORRIFIC .... I don't care to 'parse' the 'religious' wars with the 'non' religious wars .... WAR is WAR in MY HUMBLE view ....
MONEY and GREED and EGO are also MAJOR causes for HISTORICAL WARS ....
My BEST to you and yours .... LRW